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Using 3/16" Luan plywood to make 29" high Ghost Sign letters

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Project by DaleMaley posted 05-18-2018 11:43 AM 2308 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In our small town of 3,800 people, we have a community improvement group of volunteers. We decided to repaint all 3 of our old building advertising signs. I got the 1st one done in the summer of 2016, and the 2nd one done summer of 2017….......so I just finished the 3rd and last one a week ago. This building is 45 feet wide, to give you an idea of the scale of this project.

I determined the old font was Clarendon…....which was invented in 1845. Since the sign was painted in 1882, Clarendon was “age appropriate” for this sign.

I used Google Sketchup to print out 29 inch tall paper letters. I had to cut and tape about 16 sheets of 8.5×11 paper together to make each of the 11 letters. I then glued the paper letters to 3/16” thick Luan plywood, and cut out the letters using a saber saw. My process after that was…...

1. Take wood letter up in man-lift, hold against the brick wall, and mark brick using thick lead pencil
2. Tape each letter with blue masking tape
3. Wire brush off any old paint
4. Brush on 3 coats of good quality white latex paint
5. Remove tape

Both citizens and visitors really like the restored Ghost signs. It took me 4 days to do this job, and 1 day I could not work on the man-lift because of high winds. I learned a new lesson on this job: If you get 35 feet up in the man-lift, and it is so windy it blows the ball cap off your head, you should call it a day!

A local non-profit covers my materials cost (man-lift rental, Luan, tape, paint), and I donate the labor.

Here is a link to the 2nd sign I repainted in the summer of 2017.

Here is a link to the 1st sign I painted in the summer of 2016.

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/





14 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8424 posts in 2723 days


#1 posted 05-18-2018 11:51 AM

Nice work Dale!

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

819 posts in 697 days


#2 posted 05-18-2018 02:21 PM

Once again you did a wonderful job dale. The town is lucky to have you

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View at anchor in Orlando's profile

at anchor in Orlando

66 posts in 1374 days


#3 posted 05-18-2018 02:21 PM

nice!

Check the links to other photos, didn’t work for me.

-- Jack

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32083 posts in 3013 days


#4 posted 05-18-2018 02:22 PM

Nice work!

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

440 posts in 2382 days


#5 posted 05-18-2018 03:00 PM



nice!

Check the links to other photos, didn t work for me.

- at anchor in Orlando

I fixed the links. I had to add a space after the internet address, and before the rest of the sentence, kind of weird.

Thanks

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

5124 posts in 2413 days


#6 posted 05-18-2018 04:55 PM

Good work on an important project.

Yes high areas and wind is not a good combination.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5559 posts in 2555 days


#7 posted 05-19-2018 01:16 AM

Nice work, my boss would have had me up on a ladder. I can hear it now, can we get a lift? What spend $$$, get out of here!

LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

440 posts in 2382 days


#8 posted 05-19-2018 11:50 AM



Nice work, my boss would have had me up on a ladder. I can hear it now, can we get a lift? What spend $$$, get out of here!

LOL

- woodbutcherbynight

I painted 1 sign using my 24 foot aluminum extension ladder. This one was about 35 ft up, and I don’t think I want to try a ladder on that height!

dale

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View Skylark53's profile

Skylark53

2676 posts in 3207 days


#9 posted 05-19-2018 06:20 PM

That’s quite a good project. Must be very satisfying.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

440 posts in 2382 days


#10 posted 05-19-2018 06:24 PM



That s quite a good project. Must be very satisfying.

- Skylark53

Thanks!

People really enjoy saving the old advertising signs…....so I get lot’s of Thank You’s….....sometimes even free meals :)

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View DDWW's profile

DDWW

89 posts in 773 days


#11 posted 05-22-2018 06:18 PM

I love it when you see them in old towns. It hints at the past and how the towns evolved. Our small town raises money for flowers for Main Street. This is a much better use of money and time. Now if we could get the Hoarders to get their treasures of their porches.

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

440 posts in 2382 days


#12 posted 05-22-2018 06:21 PM



I love it when you see them in old towns. It hints at the past and how the towns evolved. Our small town raises money for flowers for Main Street. This is a much better use of money and time. Now if we could get the Hoarders to get their treasures of their porches.

- DDWW

We have volunteers who plant the flowers in the flower boxes along Main Street, also in some of the parks as well.

We only have a couple of Hoarder houses in our small town :)

thanks

Dale

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View JoeRPhilly's profile

JoeRPhilly

174 posts in 2299 days


#13 posted 07-06-2018 07:08 PM

That’s wonderful, nice work all around!

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

440 posts in 2382 days


#14 posted 07-06-2018 07:44 PM



That s wonderful, nice work all around!

- JoeRPhilly

Thanks!

The local citizens and tourists really like to see the old building advertising signs!!

Dale

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

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